Matchup Mulligan: Maverick

UW Stoneblade Final Hand Answer

Hand 10: (on the play)

Hope of Ghirapur DarkRitual Chrome Mox Rite Of Flame Lions Eye Diamond Infernal Tutor BurningWish

Keep

I was a little shocked at how many of you would mulligan this hand, you're only an initial mana source away from winning while being protected by our best disruption spell. I would lead off on Chrome Mox (Imprint: Burning Wish) and then cast Hope of Ghirapur. From here we have 12 lands that provide black mana (Volcanic Island and Island are no help here), 4 Lotus Petal, and 3 copies of Chrome Mox — this is a 35% chance to draw a black source on the following turn. The caveat is that Chrome Mox, will only allow you to cast Empty the Warrens and not Ad Nauseam.

Something I think less experience The EPIC Storm pilots face or stress about is feeling the pressure to combo quickly, with time and playing more games they'll realize that you don't need to force yourself into those situations. Even if we miss our land drop, I'm fine with that 35% every single turn because we do have a few turns before we actually need to win.

Let's say I did draw Chrome Mox, I'd probably wait a turn so that I could Ad Nauseam rather than Empty the Warrens.

Maverick

Pre-board

Hand 1:(on the play)

Rite Of Flame Lotus Petal Lions Eye Diamond BurningWish Badlands BurningWish Ponder

Keep

This situation is similar to last month's Stoneblade conundrum, do we cast Empty the Warrens? Is it enough? Check out our data page. You'll see against any Stoneblade deck, you really only need 10 Goblins on the play. The difference here is that we don't have to worry about countermagic from Maverick!

Hand 2: (on the draw)

Ponder Brainstorm Duress DarkRitual BurningWish Volcanic Island Bloodstained Mire

Mulligan

In another world... or just in another match-up, this would be a keep. That said, this hand just doesn't do enough against Maverick. We can't afford to spend turns sculpting our hand, we need something a little more explosive (especially on the draw).

Hand 3: (on the play)

Scalding Tarn Ponder Cabal Therapy Lions Eye Diamond Brainstorm Chrome Mox

Keep

This hand allows us to play meaningful Magic: the Gathering against Maverick. If we're unable to find an Infernal Tutor and more mana off Ponder, we can follow up with Brainstorm and then if that fails, we have Cabal Therapy naming Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. I think one of the more interesting decisions here is if you search up the basic Island or Underground Sea, what would you do?

Hand 4: (on the draw)

DarkRitual Rite Of Flame Infernal Tutor Chrome Mox BurningWish Lions Eye Diamond Polluted Delta

Keep

One nice thing about the Maverick match-up (which is also the same for Death & Taxes), is that they don't have a meaningful way of interacting with you on the first turn in game one. This means that any quick-to-win hand such as this is pure gold.

Hand 5: (on the play)

BurningWish Ponder Rite Of Flame Duress Cabal Therapy Chrome Mox

Mulligan

You can't be afraid to mulligan, it doesn't matter if you're going to five or four cards. If the hand doesn't interact in a meaningful way for the match-up, there's no point. We know that slow hands aren't ideal for this match-up, this is a slow hand without mana! There isn't a doubt in my mind that I think a random five card hand would be better than these six against Maverick.

Post-board

Recommended sideboarding:

Hand 6: (on the draw)

Cabal Therapy Thoughtseize BurningWish Echoing Truth Badlands Island Bloodstained Mire

Mulligan

To put it simply, too much of a good thing... is a bad thing. While you have a bunch of good cards in the match-up, if you play this hand out you'll end up durdling around for awhile. Meanwhile, your opponent will slowly lock you out of the game because you decided to keep a hand that doesn't actually do anything. It's crucial to consider how games will play out and not on single card values in a given match-up.

Hand 7: (on the play)

Infernal Tutor DarkRitual Rite Of Flame Rite Of Flame Echoing Truth Empty The Warrens Underground Sea

Mulligan

It's a trap! This hand is secretly very bad. You're leading off on a non-basic land that you need to not get destroyed by Wasteland AND THEN you need to draw another initial mana source, just to make twelve Goblins on turn two (which we know doesn't beat a Stoneforge Mystic). This is also assuming your opponent doesn't have Thoughtseize, Zealous Persecution, or the previously mentioned Wasteland.

Hand 8: (on the draw)

BurningWish Thoughtseize Rite Of Flame DarkRitual DarkRitual Polluted Delta Bloodstained Mire

Keep

We're able to discard their hate creature on turn one and then ideally with a few more drawn spells, Empty the Warrens for a reasonable amount. Sign me up.

Hand 9: (on the play)

Brainstorm Lotus Petal Lions Eye Diamond Lions Eye Diamond DarkRitual Polluted Delta Scalding Tarn

Keep

This is an above average hand, while you do need a "tutor effect" it has everything else. Brainstorm and your draw step give you four looks at ten cards in your deck that flat out win the game.

Hand 10: (on the draw)

Infernal Tutor Infernal Tutor DarkRitual Lions Eye Diamond Lions Eye Diamond Rite Of Flame Cabal Therapy

Share your answer in the comments below!

I'll provide my answer in the next article, but for now, make sure to post your thoughts!


Bryant Cook

Bryant Cook has 1 Grand Prix Top 8 as well as 9 Star City Games Top 8s (2 wins). You can often find him traveling the northeast in search for the next big event, he recently won SCG: Worcester and is the Legacy Premier League Season 3 Champion! Outside of M:TG he's an avid New York Mets fan, graphic designer, pop-punk enthusiast, and doggo aficionado. Bryant Cook is the owner and president of The EPIC Storm.